Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Tarqumiya

Nina B, Chagit S.S. (reporting)

Tarqumiya – Hebron 

After quite a long period during which we entered via the Meitar crossing, we decided to enter through the Tarqumiya crossing again.  But we met M at the Tarqumiya grocery shop in order to spare him the problems  we are subjected to when we return to Israel. When he isn’t with us there isn’t the slightest problem.

We didn’t delay at the crossing: there were lots of trucks and cars, and conspicuous  trading and building activity.

This was also the case when we continued on road No 35.

At the Shuyukh Sa’ir junction (we saw) the boulders, and written on them “Defenders of David” - a screaming and defiant presence . . . .

We were surprised to discover the extent to which most of the checkpoints known to us have been “upgraded” : the road-bend 160, the Pharmacy . . .

All of them are much more “impressive”, there is no vehicle passage, and life has become even more difficult.  It was especially hard to see  Tel Rumeida, which was open during all the years (except for an inspection hut with soldiers next to it).  As always – at a place where an incident/terrorist act (in this case the topic was “the soldier who shot”) occurred, everything was completely closed and isolated – as if this is what will bring salvation.

At Abed’s shop, next to the Patriarch’s Cave we met representatives of the Ecumenical organization, and also tourists with a Palestinian Jerusalem guide.  They described an unusual performance that they witnessed inside the Patriarch’s cave :  inside the cave, the passageway between the synagogue and the mosque was opened, and a group of Israeli soldiers from different military units and of different ranks entered to visit the mosque.  Because they didn’t take-off their shoes, a carpet was spread for them.  Something special . . . the tourists emphasized that they were shocked.

 In the inspection hut at the entrance from Hebron back to Kiriat Arbah there was an innovation :  the soldier asked for our identity-cards and went-in to telephone; he released us only after several long minutes.